Hawkeye HQ predictions and pregame: #SpaceU

Hawkeye Headquarters


Superman and Kryptonite, Tom and Jerry, Iowa and Purdue. No matter how strong the former is, the latter always seems have the upper hand.

In the case of Iowa v Purdue, there’s a pretty strong argument to be made that the Hawkeyes have been the better team over the last five seasons. Iowa is 33-14, while Purdue is 19-25 since 2017, the year Jeff Brohm took over as head coach.

You’d have no idea of that looking at the head-to-head history, as the Moon Family Head Ball Coach is 1-3 against the sponsor-less Brohm.

“It’s not good,” he said.

Indeed it’s not, but why have the Hawkeyes struggled so much with the Boilermakers in recent years?

“I think every game’s been a different story, but the common denominator is they play hard and they play well,” coach Ferentz said.

If you look at the three losses, that’s absolutely true.

Go back to 2017, a 24-15 Purdue win, it was a defensive struggle. Neither team topped 300 yards and combined for 13 punts. That’s Iowa football.

In 2018, Purdue won 38-36 over No. 16 Iowa. A Big Ten shootout! Both teams had nearly 400 yards and Purdue needed a walk-off field goal to win.

2020, again a Purdue win over a ranked Iowa team. This one 24-20. It was Spencer Petras’ first start and in this one, the offense put up numbers, racking up 460 total yards. They just couldn’t turn that into many points.

“I can just tell you that if I had, I’ve gone through my progressions a little better, and if we had not turned the ball over, then we would’ve won the game and we didn’t because we made too many mistakes on offense,” Petras said.

Neither Coach nor the players can put a finger on why it keeps happening. Allow me to offer a theory:

2017 is the first year UCF unveiled the first version of it’s incredibly popular space uniforms, meaning that’s the day Purdue realized it wasn’t actually SpaceU. You better believe that was a big shot to their ego. It’s very cool that a couple astronauts graduated from there. UCF was literally founded to staff the Space Program. 29 percent of Space Center employees are UCF Alumni. The 50-yardline of their stadium lines up exactly with Launch Complex 39A; 31 miles away at the Space Center. Need I say more? I do.

The one year Purdue wore “space” uniforms during the Brohm era, they lost to Iowa. A coincidence or karma?

Beating Iowa is the only way to fill that void left behind by the loss of the SpaceU mantle.

There are no space uniforms on the docket for Purdue this year, but a game against Iowa is. It’s the stat no one is talking about. Could that be the difference this year? Who knows? The experts do, that’s who.

So let’s get to their picks.

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 16, 2:30 p.m.
Location: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
Spread: Iowa -11.5

Hawkeye Headquarters
Zachary Winiecki: Iowa 24, Purdue 13

National Predictions
CBS Sports
Dennis Dodd: Iowa
Tom Fornelli: Iowa
Chip Patterson: Iowa
Barrett Sallee: Iowa
David Cobb: Iowa
Shehan Jeyarajah: Iowa
Jerry Palm: Iowa

Sports Illustrated
John Garcia: Iowa
Molly Geary: Iowa
Ross Dellenger: Iowa
Pat Forde: Iowa
Richard Johnson: Iowa

Bleacher Report
Kerry Miller: Iowa 27, Purdue 13

Athlon Sports
Mike Bainbridge: Iowa 28, Purdue 17

247 Sports
Steve Helwagen: Iowa 27, Purdue 21

The Athletic
Stewart Mandel: Iowa 16, Purdue 12

Hawkeye State Predictions
Quad City Times
Steve Batterson: Iowa 31, Purdue 21
David Bell adds to his collection of 26 receptions against Iowa in the past two seasons but the Iowa defense is stout enough to keep the Hawkeyes unbeaten. Expect the combination of Tyler Goodson and Ivory Kelly-Martin on the ground and the short passing game to allow Iowa to work the clock and dictate tempo in this one.

The Athletic
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 25, Purdue 13

Hawkeye Mic
Brendan Stiles: Iowa 28, Purdue 20
Tyler Tjelmeland: Iowa 31, Purdue 10
Jack Brandsgard: Iowa 27, Purdue 17
John Patchett: Iowa 31, Purdue 17

Totally relevant irrelevant prediction simulation
The artist formerly known as HawkeyeHQ.com’s Ryan Jaster: Iowa 24, Purdue 17

Consensus: Finally some agreement amongst the experts. The last two weeks have been pretty divisive, but this week, everyone has a Hawkeyes’ win. The Iowa defense is as strong as it’s been in years. The Purdue defense is too, but the Hawkeyes showed last week their defense is more than likely going to be the best unit in every game. The focus is on making sure David Bell doesn’t run wild on them for a third year in a row. The offense is also starting to gain confidence, especially with the offensive line getting more reps together.

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